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Sports in Extreme Environments

The armed forces have been closely involved in adventure sports for well over a century. Working in the most extreme environments calls for skills which are not easy to attain. During the Second World War, the British Army fielded a Division of Mountain Trained troops while Captain Lionel ‘Buster’ Crabb spent much of the same conflict diving to clear mines in the Mediterranean. Captain Robert Falcon Scott of the Royal Navy famously died with four colleagues on their return from the South Pole in 1912.

We’ve chosen 9 January 2019 as the date to launch this exhibition about Sport in Extreme Environments, as it marks the 110th anniversary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ‘Farthest South’ adventure, reaching 88 degrees 23 seconds, just 97 nautical miles from the South Pole. Shackleton was later to become a Major in the British Army at the end of the First World War, training and equipping troops for combat in sub-arctic conditions.

Mountaineer and Army Officer 5th Gurkha Rifles

Brigadier-General Charles Grandville Bruce

‘Bruce is a kind of benevolent volcano in perpetual eruption of good cheer. And of such irrepressible fun that no amount of misfortune can ever quell him’

Learn about Brigadier-General Charles Grandville Bruce

Polar Explorer and Army Major

Ernest Shackleton

"...from the moment of his arrival to the time of his departure he gave me of his very best and his loyalty from start to finish was absolute"

Learn about Ernest Shackleton

Polar Explorer, author and Naval Officer

Apsley Cherry-Garrard

"Polar exploration is at once the cleanest and most isloated way of having a bad time which has been devised."

Learn about Apsley Cherry-Garrard

Polar Explorer and Army Officer

Lawrence Oates

"Hereabouts died a very gallant gentleman, Captain L E G Oates, of the Inniskilling Dragoons. In March 1912, returning from the Pole, he walked willingly to his death in a blizzard to try and save his comrades beset by hardships."

Learn about Lawrence Oates

Diver and Royal Navy Commander

Lionel ‘Buster’ Crabb

"a most engaging man of the highest integrity... as well as being the best frogman in the country, probably in the world".

Learn about Lionel ‘Buster’ Crabb

Mountaineer and SAS Officer

John ‘Brummie’ Stokes

"...an intrepid Brummie who cheated death THREE TIMES whilst climbing Mount Everest..."

Learn about John ‘Brummie’ Stokes